Jahleel Addae is known as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL.
It’s a good thing for the Bolts’ offense that Sunday was just a non-padded practice, otherwise “The Hitman” would have shown why he’s earned his nickname.
“I was going hammer (style) out there today,” he said as he walked off the field. “I was bringing the juice. I brought the energy.”
The fans certainly took notice as he elicited cheers from more than 5,000 in attendance at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.
“That’s why you’re back, Hitman!” one screamed as Addae, who inked a four-year deal this offseason to return to the Chargers, celebrated another big play.
The safety heard the fans, citing their energy as a reason he had a big day to open training camp.
“I got to get back out there and do what I’ve missed the past couple months. I got to play with my teammates in front of these fans. They were awesome. We had a great turnout, and I fed off the crowd. Their energy was awesome. We were all shaking off the rust the first day, but we felt them.”
While Addae acknowledged he had a strong first day, especially against the run, he stated he’s already moved on. Even though he’s always tried to maintain that approach, he shared some advice he was recently given from someone he greatly admires.
The legendary Laker famously made a surprise visit to the team Saturday, and his words of wisdom remain fresh in Addae’s mind.
“There are going to times where I don’t have the day I had today. Kobe talked yesterday about being even keeled (and) staying focused. He talked about tuning out the negative plays and the good plays. Whether you make a good one or a bad one, you snap out of it and come back to yourself. It’s the next play. You need to already forget about it.”
Truth be told, Addae’s always approached that game with a similar mindset. It’s the reason why he was able to go from a lightly regarded undrafted free agent to established starter in the league.
However, he remains far from satisfied.
“I’m never satisfied,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement. I have a lot of stuff I need to improve on, and there’s a lot of stuff I have to prove. I have to prove myself every day. I came from nothing as an undrafted free agent to where I am now. I still have that chip on my shoulder. I still want to show those other 31 teams that passed on me that they made a mistake.”